Tuesday, June 16, 2009

MUCH More Detail on SREC Process

Here's some extremely helpful information I received in an email from B.B. (CEO of SRECTrade).


We've already decided that we will be selling our SRECs through this company because they are extremely attentive (and we're not even customers yet) and they sell the SRECS at the highest price I've seen and with no commission paid by the seller.

Here's what B.B. said. He really fills in the gaps for me and I finally feel like I understand how it works.

The three things I'd like to address are Registration, Meter Readings and Timing...


As you've figured out, you must have your system certified by the state before you can begin producing SRECs. When you get a state certification number, you can then either register directly with GATS or through SRECTrade if you choose to utilize our hands-free SREC selling service called EasyBid.

Meter Readings:

Once you are registered, there are two ways to get credited for the solar energy you produce. For systems under 10kW, you can elect to utilize estimates that are determined by the state and based on a number of factors including the size of your system, the panel ratings and your location. Most solar generators under 10kW elect this option because it eliminates the need to input meter readings. However, if you feel your meter can outperform the estimates, you can opt to input meter readings instead. For systems that are 10kW and above, meter readings are required. These readings are typically taken on or around the last day of each month by the solar owner and must be inputted in GATS before the last business day of the following month. It is actually based on an honor system, however, since GATS knows the size of your generator, it has an idea for what is a reasonable output. If you input numbers that are too high, the readings will be flagged by the system. For our EasyBid clients, we collect their meter readings on a monthly basis using a simple online form.


Since readings are not credited until the last business day of the following month, your SRECs for month 1, are not ready until the end of month 2 and so on. Our monthly auctions occur the first Friday of each month. So any energy you generate in June will be available on July 31st and can be sold in the August 7th auction.

I hope that helps and look forward to being more helpful in the future!

Kind regards,


Mike Hall said...

I have a dopey question: is there a relationship between your power company and these companies that sell SREC's?

I'm trying to wrap my head around this.

In its simplest form, it seems like:
1. you're sending power into the grid;
2. your power company lets some guy down the street use that power;
3. Could the power company just put a credit on your bill every month for the power that you are selling them? Why is a third party involved?

I'm sure I sound like a dope.

dave c. said...

Hey, Man,

I'm glad you asked this here because this is a question that comes up a lot.

The answer is simple -- extra power that's sent back onto the grid for credit and SRECs are two different things.

The extra power part is self-explanatory. SRECs are "golden tickets" issued by each state to solar power installations -- 1 for every 1,000 kilowatthours produced (even if that installation uses some or all of the 1,000 KWH itself). The power companies can avoid the legal requirement that they produce "green energy" by buying these SRECs -- in other words, they're buying the right to say that THEY produced it.

I'm not really sure I approve of this arrangement, although I'm taking advantage of it. If we want to force power companies to generate green energy, we should just do that. Buying their way out doesn't achieve the policy objective except that it encourages people like me to do what I did.

Mike Hall said...

Got it. That makes sense.

I see what you mean. It is annoying that power companies can buy their way out of green energy, but on the other hand, the money is being passed on to the green producers (you), and should therefore encourage others to do the same (me).

Ira Taylor said...

This site is terrific. I learned alot. Question? June 1,2009 the state inspector pass my installation. All other inspections done. I was told by the BPU that its takes a month to get the certificaton number due the large volume of paperwork involved. Will my Kilowatts counted from June 1 or the day I receive my State Certification Number?

dave c. said...

Great question, Ira. You probably know more about this than I do. I had no idea about this extra bureacratic step of issuing a certification number. That doesn't sound good.

I'll make a call tomorrow and find out about this. Thanks for pointing that out...

Anonymous said...

SRECs are generated beginning the day of interconnection approval. A little 'gotcha' to be aware of: The reporting cycle for SRECs fruns June 1 to May 31st of the following year. You are eligible to generate SRECs for 15 years, so if your system is being built on May 1st, whatever you do, wait until after May 31st to get the interconnection approval because you miss out on a whole year's worth of SRECs if you come online before May 31st. If you come online with interconnection just after May 31st, you can generate SRECs for another year (technically year 16) of the system. The last thing you want is for your system to produce a single SREC in May and have that count as one year wasted. Read more here: http://www.njcleanenergy.com/renewable-energy/tools-and-resources/faqs/srec#Anchor-What-47857